The countertop is one of the most important parts of any kitchen, alongside its floors and related appliances. Itíll be the visual and technical focal point of the kitchen, as it will be where people will prepare their food.
Kitchen countertops come in a wide variety of materials. Installation will require the use of a range of tools, including power tools, hammers and screws just to name a few.
This is the most popular option and predictable, the most expensive option as well. Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, it is extremely scratch and heat resistant. It is extremely tough and will last for years on end, which can save money. It will require a sealer, however, to prevent it from being stained as it is a highly porous material. DIY stores will have a number of sealer options.
While it is scratch resistant, itís still a bad idea to use it as a cutting board.
Porcelain and glazed ceramic tiling is another popular option that comes in a wide variety of designs and colours. The terms tile is a misnomer as the tiles can be in various shapes and can be as small as a single square inch or could reach up to six square inches in size. Theyíre resistant to scratches and heat just like granite. Porcelain tiles are more expensive, but theyíre also tougher. The problem with tile countertops is that it can get chipped easily.
Concrete is a tough material used in driveways and sidewalks which can also be used on kitchen countertops. It can actually be smoothed with some effort to make it shiny. With enough effort, it will actually look like natural stone. It needs regular sealing to make sure that it doesnít become stained. The problem with concrete countertops is that it requires a lot of maintenance. It will require consistent waxing to prevent damage from stains and water.
Stainless steel is the modern option and is the one that most restaurants go with. Itís durable, resistant to both stains and water, and is extremely low maintenance. Itís extremely easy to clean and it wonít get damaged if a hot plate or a recently used pan is placed directly on it. The real problem for most people is that it doesnít look homey enough, that it looks far too industrial.
Most people think about wooden countertops when they think about the classic kitchen look. Modern households actually use bamboo for their countertops, but any kind of hardwood can actually be used. Maple and oak are most common. Generally, people use wood countertops when they want to be able to cut things directly on the countertop.
The problem is that wood is generally much softer than every other material discussed here. Therefore, it can burn and is easy to scratch and dent and it can even warp if in constant contact with water, which means that it requires regular sealing.